This photographer turns big cities into psychedelic worlds using Photoshop

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Paul Eis

18-year-old German architecture photographer and student Paul Eis takes photos of large buildings for a living. But one day, as he sat in front of his computer looking at some of the photos he had taken that day, he was suddenly hit with inspiration.

“I started to think how the buildings would look if they were colorful,” Eis told Business Insider.

Eis decided to use Photoshop to add bright colors to the buildings and really make them pop. “Architecture should not only be understood as something useful, but also as artwork,” Eis said. “But that is very difficult when you just see gray buildings. Highlighting the structure with bright colors and showing them isolated from their environment helps to show the viewer how unique these buildings are.”

Below, see what these white buildings would look like if they were decked out in bright colors.


Eis currently resides in Berlin, Germany. He traveled through Berlin and Hamburg for this series.

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Wa17, Berlin by Zanderroth Architekten
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Paul Eis

“The architecture of Berlin and Hamburg is not bad at all, but also mostly not very interesting,” Eis told Business Insider. “After coloring the first buildings, I got a completely new look.”

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Bartningallee, Berlin by Raymond Lopez and Eugene Beaudouin
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Paul Eis

Using Photoshop, Eis strips each photo of all its color, takes the building out of its environment, and adds in a blue background.

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Marco Polo Tower in HafenCity, Hamburg, Germany by Behnisch Architekten
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Paul Eis

“The blue gives both contrast to white areas of the building and the colored sections,” Eis said. “Changing the real sky with a blue background is also a part of the isolation of the building from the environment. That reduces the content of the image to only the building itself.”

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Flottwellstrasse14 building, Germany
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Paul Eis

Eis decides where to add color based on the structure of the building.

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Prenzlauer Welle, Berlin by Lenzen Architekten
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Paul Eis

“[I add color] mostly on windows or balconies,” Eis said. “I also look for details which are repeating in the structure.”

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Oval, Hamburg by Ingenhoven Architekten
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Paul Eis

He chooses color palettes that are rich in contrast or that use a gradient.

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DZ Bank, Berlin by Frank Gehry
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Paul Eis

If the building has a simple geometric look, he adds repetition of colors. On the other hand, if the building has a more random structure, he chooses a random order for the colors.

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GDR Housing Estate, Germany
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Paul Eis

Eis has been interested in architecture for as long as he can remember.

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Bauhaus Archive by Walter Gropius
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Paul Eis

He’s also passionate about landscape photography, but he sees a better opportunity for architecture in Berlin.

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Euref Campus 14, Germany by Remtec Architekten
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Paul Eis

“I think architecture is perhaps the best kind of object to do [photography] experiments with,” Eis said.

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Federal Ministry for Environment, Germany by Geier Maass Architekten
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Paul Eis